South Fulton Plans Census Town Hall and Sweepstakes to Drum up Participation

As of June 11, 57 percent of South Fulton residents had responded to the 2020 U.S. Census. Officials have set a goal of 80 percent, and recently announced plans to hold a virtual town hall and launch a contest to encourage participation.

According to a press release, the virtual town hall will be streamed on the city’s YouTube channel on June 16 at 6 p.m. Residents can submit questions in advance by emailing Deloris Baskin at Deloris.Baskin@cityofsouthfultonga.gov.

Participants will include: Mayor William “Bill” Edwards; Councilwoman Carmalitha Gumbs; Councilwoman Helen Z. Willis; Fulton County Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Fran Calhoun; Regional Census Partnership Specialist Floyd Holland; South Fulton Chamber President and CEO Dyan Matthews; and Fulton County District 6 School Board Member Kimberly Dove. Donna Lowry, host of Georgia Public Brodcasting’s Lawmakers, will moderate.

“Because census data determines how much funding we receive from the federal government, it’s important now more than ever to participate in the census,” said Mayor William “Bill” Edwards. “I encourage residents to join us virtually to learn more about the 2020 Census.”

An effort is also underway to incentivize participation. South Fulton will launch a Count to 80 Sweepstakes between June 22 and August 18. Each week, one winner will take home a prize, including Apple Airpods or a combination of an Amazon Echo and an Amazon Firestick.

Residents who wish to enter the contest should send their address as proof of residency and a screenshot of their census completion code to info@cityofsouthfultonga.gov.

Nationally, responses to the 2020 Census are on track as more than 60 percent of U.S. households have participated, with approximately four out of every five households choosing to do so online at 2020census.gov. Current internet self-response rates are 9.2 percentage points above Census Bureau projections, as households continue to favor responding online to phone and mail.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal is to count everyone who lives in the United States as of April 1, 2020. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.

Photo: Councilwomen Carmalitha Gumbs and Helen Willis are helping to lead the U.S. Census response campaign as leaders of South Fulton’s Complete Count Committee. (Credit: Office of Councilwoman Helen Willis)

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